New Identity Not Applicable

I’m just getting home and my whole day was a wreck. So I grabbed the mail when I came in the house and got myself comfortable for the evening.

“Bills. Bills. And more junk. I wish some excitement would occur.”

Then I came across this postcard that stopped me in my tracks. The photo was of my childhood friend, Stacie. It was a photo that we had taken back in elementary. We were on a field trip to the Baltimore Zoo. Our teacher, Ms. Rice had snapped of us while we fed the horses. I hadn’t seen the photo in years since the flood ruined most of the pictures that I had. And it was odd that I would be receiving this on the two year anniversary of her death.

Whenever we had school trips or what not, Stacie and I would always be partners. She taught me about how to treat ladies and how not to get played. I missed her greatly and cried many nights. So I dialed Stacie’s mother, Mrs. Anita Carter, to see how she was. Mrs. Anita considered me as a son since Stacie and I were so close.

“Hello, Carter residence.” Mrs. Anita sang into the phone.

“Good evening Mrs. Anita. How are you this evening?”

“Derek!! It’s so good to hear from you. How are you?”

“I’m doing well. I just came across an old photo of Stacie and I from elementary school. I figured that you might wanted to have it.”

“Oh no baby. You keep that memory of Stacie and yourself as your memory keepsake. You were always like a son to me and it wouldn’t be right if I stole that memory away from you.”

“Well if you insist Mrs. Anita, I think about her all the time.”

It was a warm spring day in April of 2008 and Stacie had just gotten a promotion with the government agency that she was working with. A few of her relatives and some friends had came to celebrate in the joyous occasion. So after we had dinner and a few drinks, Stacie left her wallet and car keys at the bar so she could head to the bathroom. While she was gone, a fight between two drunken patrons broke out. So after the chaos ensured, I noticed that Stacie’s wallet and keys were gone. So I figured that she was ready to head home. So as I headed outside to part ways with her when the unimaginable happened.

KABOOOOOOOM!!!!!

Stacie car was engulfed in flames. Everyone came rushing out to see what happened. The car was so badly damaged that there weren’t any chances of identifying a body. But the investigators did discover part of Stacie’s near melted Driver’s License. A few days later, Stacie’s family held a memorial service in which she was recognized as an hard working employee who didn’t take any nonsense from anyone. At the end of the service, there wasn’t a dry eye inside the church.

“Derek.. Derek..”

I was shaking out of my flashback by Mrs. Anita saying that she had to get ready for an evening church service. So we said our goodbyes and ended the call. I continued to look at the postcard and as I turned over, that’s when I noticed the note.

“Meet me at the Silver Star Diner tomorrow at 5pm. And don’t be late.”

I’m staring at the handwriting in disbelief.

“This can’t be! This just can’t be true.”

The handwriting on the postcard was similar to that of Stacie’s. Was someone playing a cruel joke? But I had a million and one questions and they were going to get answered.

The next day, I arrived at the Silver Star and it was quite packed. I grabbed an empty booth and awaited whoever this mystery person that requested me. I ordered some buffalo wings and a lemonade while I waited. I watched some of Around The Horn where they were discussing sports topic from today. The waitress came over with my wings and as I started to eat them, she slide in the booth unnoticed.

“You need to slow down on the wings Bubbie.”

When I looked up, there she was staring me in my face. My face was shocked as if I was staring at a ghost. Stacie. Right here in the flesh. She lost a few pounds and her hair cut shorter. She reached out and touched me. I darted my hand back.

“Derek relax. It really is me.”

“But the car explosion.. They said it wasn’t any remains. Your family is still grieving!!”

“Derek you were the only one that I could count on to keep a level head. My family would have freaked out.”

“You damn right they would have!!”

“Well you can’t speak of this meeting at all. Your life is in danger as is by just being here with me.”

Stacie went on to explain that at the party for her promotion when the fight broke out she noticed an older male stealing her items. She chased him down and when she grabbed him, he cut her with his pocket knife. He then got into her car and that’s when the explosion happened.

“I was being set up to be murdered.”

I gave her a look of disbelief. “Yeah right by who?”

“I can’t explain but right now I need for you to duck and take cover.”

But before I could ask why, gunshots erupted inside the diner. When I turned around to look, there was a guy sprawled over the table with his face laying next to him. All I could see was two more men feeling the effects of bullets coming from Stacie’s Desert Eagle entering their bodies. When the dust settled, there were three dead bodies and more questions that needed to be answered. As I emerged from the under the table, there was note left for me.

“The Stacie that you knew is no more. Sorry that it had to end this way.”

And it was signed..

N.I.N.A.